Mississippi’s State Department of Health sent out a stern order on Friday, telling individuals who are COVID positive that they must isolate for a minimum of 10 days or else face a $5000 fine and 5 years in prison.
As COVID-19 cases surge in the state, they decided to issue a dramatic isolation order with a hefty penalty. Mississippi recently experienced record coronavirus cases with double the figures of the previous record set in January.
Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the State Health Officer issued the order and demanded that those infected with the virus remain at home “for 10 days [after] onset of illness.”
Failure to follow the order would normally result in a six-month prison sentence accompanied by a $500 fine, but since COVID-19 was deemed as “a life-threatening disease,” the penalties were increased tenfold.
Hospitals in the state are currently under extreme duress, caring for more COVID-19 patients than at any previous time during the pandemic. Over 1,660 patients are hospitalized, with 457 kept in ICU and 324 kept on ventilators as of Wednesday.
On Friday, Mississippi’s University Medical Center, the only Level One trauma center in the state, mad a complete about face regarding their previous policy, and is now requiring that all students and staff be vaccinated. They previously waived the vaccine requirement for those who preferred to simply wear N95 masks.
The University’s associate vice chancellor of clinical affairs, Dr. Alan Jones issued a letter to staff and students on Friday saying that the state currently faces a “raging wildfire” in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, but notes that “not everyone” wants to help put out the fire “in their own backyard.” He proclaimed that the University should be “a leader in this fight” as they represent the “leading health system” in the state.
Mississippi currently ranks as one of the least-vaccinated states in the country, with an estimated 45% of people having received at least one shot and short of 37% having received their full vaccine.
Author: Lonnie Hopkins